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4/10/03 - IRAQ AFTER SADDAM - 2003-04-10

The U.S.-led coalition has a clear goal in Iraq. The coalition is committed to disarming the Saddam Hussein regime and removing all remnants of it from power. The enemy is the Saddam Hussein regime, not the Iraqi people. In fighting this war, the coalition is taking every precaution to protect Iraqi civilians.

As President George W. Bush said, “There will be difficult fighting ahead, yet the outcome is not in doubt. Iraq will be free”:

“After the current regime is removed, our coalition will work to restore electricity and water supplies, medical care, and other essential services in Iraq. We’ll move as quickly as possible to place governmental responsibilities under the control of an interim authority composed of Iraqis from both inside and outside the country.”

The interim authority will serve until a new government can be chosen by the Iraqi people. Helping Iraqis rebuild will be members of the coalition, international organizations, and the United Nations. This work, said President Bush, will not be easy:

“But we are going to see it through. A free Iraq will be ruled by laws, not by a dictator. A free Iraq will be peaceful, and not a friend to terrorists or a menace to its neighbors. A free Iraq will give up all its weapons of mass destruction. A free Iraq will set itself on the path to democracy. The end of Saddam’s regime will also remove a source of violence and instability in the Middle East.”

The coalition will remain in Iraq not one day longer than necessary. The people of Iraq are capable of running their own country. As President Bush put it, “That’s precisely what is going to happen.”